Resorcinol (Topical)


VA CLASSIFICATION
Primary: DE752
Secondary: DE500{02}

Commonly used brand name(s): RA.

Note: For a listing of dosage forms and brand names by country availability, see Dosage Forms section(s).



Category:


Keratolytic (topical)—

Indications

Accepted

Acne vulgaris (treatment)
Dermatitis, seborrheic (treatment)
Eczema (treatment)
Psoriasis (treatment)
Urticaria (treatment) or
Skin disorders, inflammatory (treatment)—Resorcinol may be used in the treatment of acne vulgaris, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, and other inflammatory disorders of the skin.

Calluses (treatment)
Corns (treatment) or
Verruca vulgaris (treatment)—Resorcinol may also be used in preparations for the removal of corns, warts, or calluses.


Pharmacology/Pharmacokinetics

Physicochemical characteristics:
Molecular weight—
    110.11

Mechanism of action/Effect:

The effectiveness of resorcinol in treating various dermatological conditions is probably related to its antibacterial, antifungal, local irritant, and keratolytic actions. Its antibacterial and antifungal actions may be the result of protein precipitation; however, its keratolytic action may contribute to the antifungal effect because removal of the stratum corneum suppresses fungal growth.

Absorption:

Resorcinol may be absorbed through the skin or from ulcerated surfaces.


Precautions to Consider

Pregnancy/Reproduction

Problems in humans have not been documented; however, resorcinol may be systemically absorbed.

Breast-feeding

Problems in humans have not been documented; however, resorcinol may be systemically absorbed.

Pediatrics

Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of this medicine have not been performed in the pediatric population. However, resorcinol may be absorbed through the skin and should not be used on large areas of the bodies of infants and children. In addition, application to wounds may cause methemoglobinemia. {07}


Geriatrics


Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of resorcinol have not been performed in the geriatric population. However, no geriatrics-specific problems have been documented to date.

Drug interactions and/or related problems
The following drug interactions and/or related problems have been selected on the basis of their potential clinical significance (possible mechanism in parentheses where appropriate)—not necessarily inclusive (» = major clinical significance):


Note: Combinations containing any of the following medications, depending on the amount present, may also interact with this medication.

Abrasive or medicated soaps or cleansers or
Acne preparations or preparations containing a peeling agent such as
Benzoyl peroxide
Salicylic acid
Sulfur
Tretinoin or
Acne preparations, topical, other or
Alcohol-containing preparations, topical such as
After-shave lotions
Astringents
Perfumed toiletries
Shaving creams or lotions or
Cosmetics or soaps with a strong drying effect or
Isotretinoin or
Medicated cosmetics or ``cover-ups''    (concurrent use with resorcinol may cause a cumulative irritant or drying effect, especially with the application of peeling, desquamating, or abrasive agents, resulting in excessive irritation of the skin)


Medical considerations/Contraindications
The medical considerations/contraindications included have been selected on the basis of their potential clinical significance (reasons given in parentheses where appropriate)— not necessarily inclusive (» = major clinical significance).


Risk-benefit should be considered when the following medical problem exists
Sensitivity to resorcinol


Side/Adverse Effects
The following side/adverse effects have been selected on the basis of their potential clinical significance (possible signs and symptoms in parentheses where appropriate)—not necessarily inclusive:

Those indicating need for medical attention
Incidence less frequent or rare
    
Skin irritation not present before therapy

Symptoms of systemic toxicity
    
Diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting
    
drowsiness
    
methemoglobinemia {07}(dizziness; severe or continuing headache; troubled breathing; unusual tiredness or weakness)—especially in children
    
nervousness or restlessness
    
slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, or troubled breathing
    
sweating



Those indicating need for medical attention only if they continue or are bothersome
Incidence more frequent
    
Redness and peeling of skin —may occur after a few days





Patient Consultation
As an aid to patient consultation, refer to Advice for the Patient, Resorcinol (Topical).

In providing consultation, consider emphasizing the following selected information (» = major clinical significance):

Before using this medication
»   Conditions affecting use, especially:
Sensitivity to resorcinol





Use in children—Resorcinol may be absorbed through the skin and should not be used on large areas of the bodies of infants and children; resorcinol should not be used on wounds, since it may cause methemoglobinemia


Proper use of this medication
» Importance of not using more medication than the amount prescribed

Proper administration: Applying enough to cover affected areas; rubbing in gently

Washing hands immediately after application to remove any medication that may be on them

» Avoiding contact with the eyes

» Proper dosing
Missed dose: Applying as soon as possible; not applying if almost time for next dose

» Proper storage

Precautions while using this medication
» Avoiding simultaneous use with other topical acne preparations or preparations containing peeling agents, alcohol-containing preparations, abrasive soaps or cleansers, cosmetics or soaps with drying effect, medicated cosmetics, or other topical skin medication, unless otherwise directed by physician

» Medication may darken light-colored hair


Side/adverse effects
Signs of potential side effects, especially skin irritation not present before therapy or symptoms of resorcinol poisoning


General Dosing Information
This medication is not recommended for application over large areas of the body, especially when used in high concentrations or in infants and children.

Prolonged use may lead to myxedema because of the antithyroid action of resorcinol, particularly when used on ulcerated surfaces.

Resorcinol is not recommended for use in blacks, since it may cause hyperpigmentation.

This medication may darken light-colored hair.


Topical Dosage Forms

RESORCINOL LOTION

Usual adult and adolescent dose
Keratolytic
Topical, to the skin.


Usual pediatric dose
See Usual adult and adolescent dose.

Note: Since resorcinol may be absorbed through the skin, application to wounds may cause methemoglobinemia in children.


Strength(s) usually available
U.S.—


3% (OTC) [RA (alcohol 43%){01}{09}]

Canada—
Not commercially available.

Packaging and storage:
Store below 40 °C (104 °F), preferably between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F), in a well-closed container. Protect from freezing. Protect from light.

Auxiliary labeling:
   • Shake well.
   • For external use only.


RESORCINOL OINTMENT

Usual adult and adolescent dose
Keratolytic
Topical, to the skin, as a 2 to 20% ointment.


Usual pediatric dose
See Usual adult and adolescent dose.

Note: Since resorcinol may be absorbed through the skin, application to wounds may cause methemoglobinemia in children.


Strength(s) usually available
U.S.—
Dosage form not commercially available. Compounding required for prescriptions.

Canada—
Dosage form not commercially available. Compounding required for prescriptions.

Packaging and storage:
Store below 40 °C (104 °F), preferably between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F), in a well-closed container. Protect from freezing. Protect from light.

Auxiliary labeling:
   • For external use only.



Revised: 07/26/1993



References
  1. RA Lotion package insert (Medco Lab—US), Rec 5/88.
  1. Fleeger CA, editor. USAN 1993. USAN and the USP dictionary of drug names. Rockville, MD: The United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc., 1992.
  1. Not used.
  1. Not used.
  1. Not used.
  1. Not used.
  1. Finkel AJ, editor. CMIT. Current medical information and terminology. 5th ed. Chicago: American Medical Association, 1981: 1440.
  1. Not used.
  1. Olin BR, editor. Drug facts and comparisons. St. Louis: Facts and Comparisons, Inc. 1992: 547.
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